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  1. 1. Would You Like This Tank?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Maybe / I Don't Know
  2. 2. If Added, What BR Should It Be?

    • 1.0 (Same As SU-5-1)
    • 1.3 (Same As Panzerjager I)
    • 1.7 (Same As 75mm M3 GMC)
    • 2.0 (Same As SAu 40)
    • I Don't Know / Don't Mind
    • Other (Please Comment)
    • I Don't Want It
  3. 3. If Added, How Should It Be Available To Players?

    • Researchable
    • Premium
    • Event / Tournament
    • Squadron Reward
    • I Don't Know / Don't Mind
    • Other (Please Comment)
    • I Don't Want It

The 7.62cm FK36(r) auf Panzerjäger Selbstfahrlafette Zugkraftwagen 5t (Sd.Kfz. 6/3), more often known as simply Sd.Kfz. 6/3 or by the nickname "Diana", was a 1942 German tank destroyer built on the Sd.Kfz.6 halftrack and armed with captured Soviet 76.2mm F-22 field guns. Nine conversions were made, with the unmodified field guns (designated 7.62cm FK36(r) in German service) mounted behind the driver, contained within a large, boxy superstructure made of thin armour just about capable of stopping small-arms fire. Sent to the Afrika Korps between January and February 1942, all nine vehicles fought against the Allies from March onwards, being involved in fighting at Bir Hacheim, Tobruk and the 2nd Battle of El Alamein, where their guns proved effective against the new British Grants, but ultimately not enough to stop them being knocked out of action along with much of the Afrika Korps' other armour. With the last "Diana" lost in December of 1942, following the Allied victory at El Alamein, the tank destroyer's career was relatively short, but in the time it was active this limited conversion proved a highly useful tool with which the Afrika Korps could oppose Britain's newer, more capable tanks. Whether as a tech tree vehicle or a more limited premium or reward, I think this unusual tank destroyer would be a fun addition to the game.






Developed by Büssing-NAG in 1934, the Sd.Kfz.6 was designed as a new medium artillery tractor to support the Wehrmacht's modernisation into a mechanised army, which was produced by both Büssing-NAG and Daimler-Benz in small numbers for several years, with production ceasing in 1942 after 750 were produced. Although quite similar to the later, more powerful Sd.Kfz.7, it didn't see as many conversions and only served in three forms: an experimental 75mm tank destroyer, the Sd.Kfz. 6/2 37mm SPAAG, and the limited-run Sd.Kfz. 6/3 "Diana". The "Diana", as it was often known, was a product of necessity, put together in a hurry to supply the Deutches Afrikakorps (DAK) with a more powerfully-armed vehicle in response to the British fielding improved Crusader cruiser tanks and Lend-Leased Grant medium tanks. As a result, they put together two readily accessible parts: the Sd.Kfz. 6 half-track, which was being gradually replaced in front-line service by larger halftracks that could manage heavier loads, and the Soviet F-22 field gun, which had been captured in large numbers since the start of Operation Barbarossa. Although the Germans would modify many of their captured 76.2mm F-22 field guns into the 7.62cm PaK36(r) anti-tank gun, which were later rebored to take higher-velocity German 75mm ammunition, the guns on the "Diana" were entirely unchanged. These weapons, designated 7.62cm FK36(r), fired captured Soviet ammunition and were mounted as a complete carriage with the original gun shield and wheels intact, enabling the weapon to be dismounted if needed.


The first batch of six vehicles, delivered in January 1942, were extremely thinly armoured with just 3-5mm of steel on their superstructure, while the final three vehicles that arrived in February had slightly better protection with 10mm all round. The windshield of the halftrack could be left up, but was usually lowered to allow the gun to depress against enemies lower than the vehicle, with many vehicles fitting a padded cover to their lowered windows to protect them and provide a more stable platform for the gun. Assigned in Match, the nine "Dianas" served with the 605th Panzerjager Abteilung, reinforcing Rommel's anti-tank forces just ahead of his attack on the Libyan Gazala Line on the 26th of May 1942, where they served with the main attack force and encountered heavy resistance at the Bir Hacheim pillbox, which was held by Free French forces under the British Eighth Army. Here, they encountered British Grant medium tanks for the first time and were found to be effective against the thicker armour of these Lend-Leased vehicles, contributing to the many tank losses the British suffered here and to the overall German victory at the Battle of Gazala. The "Dianas" were always few in number, however, and both combat and mechanical losses reduced the number operational to just two by the 22nd of June, when the DAK pressed their advantage after Gazala with the taking of Tobruk, a vital Libyan port city. Efforts by German maintenance and recovery crews managed to bring the number of operational Sd.Kfz. 6/3s up to five out of the original nine, which fought in the period after Tobruk, through the First Battle of El Alamein, and up to the Second Battle, at which point a sixth "Diana" had been brought back into service. These six Sd.Kfz. 6/3s, along with twelve Panzerjager I Ausf Bs and a small number of Marder IIIs with the modified 7.62cm Pak36(r), fought against the attacking British, who were now led by the legendary Lieutenant-General Bernard "Monty" Montgomery. With the German loss at El Alamein, two of the "Dianas" were captured as trophies by the British, and the last one was recorded as lost by December 1942 (whether that means one successfully evacuated from El Alamein or it simply took until December to record all the losses at the battle, I don't know). 


With an impact on the Desert War far in excess of their small production numbers, the Sd.Kfz. 6/3 is one of the most notable experimental tank destroyers Germany operated, and would be a worthwhile addition to War Thunder. 





Length: 6.33m (20.75 ft)
Width: 2.26m (7.2 ft)
Height: 3.05m (8.1ft)

Weight: 10150kg (22376.9lb)
Crew: 5-6 (Driver, Commander, Gunner, 2x Loaders; Radio Operator on late vehicles)

Armament: 7.62cm FK36(r) (64-100 rounds)

Armament Info: -30 to +30 degrees traverse, -6 to 18 degrees elevation (windshield down)

Armour (Early): 10mm (est.) gun shield, 10mm superstructure front, 5mm sides, 3mm rear

Armour (Late): 10mm (est.) gun shield, 10mm superstructure front, sides and rear
Engine: 6-cylinder Maybach HL54 115hp (86kW)
Suspension: Torsion Bar
Ground Clearance: 40cm (16in)
Max Speed (Road): 31.875 mph (51 kph) 

Max Speed (Dirt Track): 30 mph (48 kph)

Max Speed (Offroad / Desert): 13.125 mph (21 kph)




The 7.62cm Feldkanone 36 (russisch) was simply the Soviet 76mm divisional gun M1936 F-22 in German service, entirely unmodified unlike the two models of 7.62cm Panzerkanone 36(r) developed from it. As a result, it fired captured Soviet ammunition, which due to the vehicles' service in 1942 means that neither the HEAT or APCR introduced for this gun in 1943 would have been available. Even without these rounds, it does still have a good range of three different shells, which would provide a nice, gradual progression for it as a tech tree vehicle. Using War Thunder's official penetration calculator based on the DeMarre Formula, I've entered the shells' characteristics to find their most likely performance in game, since this particular gun does not (AFAIK) yet exist in War Thunder. Its shells are standard Soviet shells, however, so I was able to find the equivalent HE shell in-game: though both T-26-4 and SU-76M have the "OF-350M" shell, the T-26-4's shell has more explosive, matching the mass and filler of the one listed for the F-22. This means that it should penetrate 11mm of RHA rather than 10mm, judging from War Thunder's in-game values.


BR-350A (APHE-T; 6.3kg; 155g explosive; 690 m/s): 91.62mm flat RHA at 0m

BR-350B (APHE-T; 6.5kg; 119g explosive; 690 m/s): 97.49mm flat RHA at 0m

BR-350BSP (AP-T; 6.5kg; 0g explosive; 690 m/s): 106.82mm flat RHA at 0m

OF-350 (HE; 6.2kg; 710g explosive; 706 m/s): 11mm flat RHA at all ranges (in-game value)

D-250 (Smoke; 6.45kg; 80g explosive; 690 m/s): N/A


Its Place In War Thunder:


The Sd.Kfz. 6/3 would be a good low-tier halftrack TD for Germany, providing a similar playstyle to the existing American 75mm M3 GMC at 1.7. Both are halftracks with large crews (5 for the M3, 5-6 for the "Diana"), unprotected drivers (like "Diana", the M3 could raise its glass at the cost of depression IRL, but can't in-game), thin armour (the M3's 6mm is better than the early "Diana" but worse than the late), and similar guns in both calibre and penetration. The M3 GMC is significantly faster, has an armoured chassis, and can depress its gun 4 degrees further, but unlike the M3 the "Diana" can traverse its gun equally far to either side and has a max traverse angle more than 10 degrees better, at an impressive 30 degrees to each side. Rate of fire of the gun on the Sd.Kfz. 6/3 itself is unknown, but the gun by itself had a 15 RPM fire rate (i.e. a 4 second reload), so in the spacious superstructure of the half-track, with two loaders servicing it, it's likely that the "Diana" would have a fire rate at least as fast as the slightly more cramped M3 GMC (10-13s), and probably faster. Even if we double the time to reload the gun from its unmounted rate to account for the reduced space available in an enclosed superstructure, we still have an 8s minimum reload, which is 2s better than the M3 GMC. Assuming that it does have a rate-of-fire advantage over the M3, and acknowledging the impressive horizontal traverse, the Sd.Kfz. 6/3 seems remarkable well-matched to its American counterpart. Based on this comparison, I think it could do quite well for itself in the main tech tree, following up the Panzerjager I (with which it served in North Africa) with a larger, more powerfully-armed vehicle that can take on the French B1s and other tough targets. Although it was only produced in small numbers, so were the Sturmpanzer II (12 built), Dicker Max (2 built), and Sturer Emil (2 built), which are all in the main tree despite their small numbers because they were historically significant and fill a gap in the tree. I believe the same is true for the Sd.Kfz. 6/3, which bridges the gap from the Panzerjager I to the first Marder III, and like the Sturmpanzer II saw serious combat with the DAK in North Africa. That said, as a limited-production vehicle, it could work well as a low-tier event vehicle in the vein of the recent Sd.Kfz. 251/10, especially since as a rare vehicle IRL it would fit that role much better in the game than another iconic mass-production vehicle (the US M8 Greyhound comes to mind as a particularly egregious example). I'm unsure of the potential for a low-tier premium or squadron rewards, but the Celere Sahariano we just got isn't far off this Sd.Kfz.'s probable BR, so I won't write off the possibility. Whatever form it comes in, the Sd.Kfz. 6/3 "Diana" is an unusual, historically interesting vehicle that would fit well in the German tree as another welcome expansion of War Thunder's lower tiers.


I hope you like this vehicle, and I look forward to reading your comments!


More Pictures:




A Sd.Kfz. 6/3 on the move.



A British soldier stands beside a captured "Diana"



A British soldier examines one of the two captured Sd.Kfz. 6/3s. 



A wrecked "Diana" with its gun mounting visible, showing the complete gun carriage.



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Abandoned "Dianas"



A good model of the "Diana"



This model shows the crew placement.




These models show the two windshield options: up (no depression), and down (with padded cover)



An artist's rendition of the vehicle.



A comparison with a standard Sd.Kfz. 6 by the same artist.




















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  • 1 month later...




This vehicle is produced in 9 copies it can carry 100 shells at most and an additional trailer could be hitched with 40 more shells on board.

On the other hand this vehicle is a real monster it can destroy all the vehicles of its generation.

But it is really very vulnerable to air attacks, a biplane is more than enough to knock it out.

Edited by Xenecrite
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  • 6 months later...

In the source of Thomas L. Jentz is written that it additionally used Pzgr 39: 7,06kg 660m/s, Pzgr Rot: 7,6kg 630m/s and Pzgr 40 4,15kg 850m/s


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